Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Joey's 30th Birthday Bash

After being at the California house for a day and a half, Dar and Sean came to watch the girls. We were going to Joey's thirtieth birthday bash in Vegas!

Right before we were ready to leave, Sean mentioned the 15 freeway might be a little crowded already due to construction and maybe we should take back roads. We cannot thank him enough! Had we not taken the back roads we would have been on that freeway at the precise time the big fire started and stranded tons of people. Thanks to Sean, we arrived right on time to check in and meet Joey, Brittany, Cookie and Michael for an Asian fusion dinner and then to watch the Blue Man Group.

After the show, we walked the strip and found a small brewery to hang out. Dan and I turned in around 1:30, a really really really late night for us.

The next day we went to lunch at the Hofbrauhaus, an exact replica of the famous German brew house. Matt, Lauren, Ed and Marissa arrived in Vegas and joined us.

This guy was quite a character. He actually drinks, a lot, on the job. I guess that IS his job.

A few from our group tried to bounce quarters into a mug to receive a free beer. No luck.

Marissa purchased "paddlings" for the boys. Our waitress was a little bit evil before the paddling and she was downright masochistic as she paddled their rears. They were all in a lot of pain!

These two tried to out chug some big men in the chugging contest. It was no contest.

Cookie got hives for the second time. The first time was in Jamaica. She must be allergic to one of us!

We gambled in the afternoon and went to dinner at Steak Shack? I think was the name. Everyone raved about the burgers. I'm vegan right now, but the bun with tomato, lettuce and onion was surprisingly good.

The next morning I dropped off Dan at the airport early and drove back to La Quinta for three more days of getting the house ready. It was a fun, relaxing, enjoyable trip to celebrate the birthday of a fun, relaxing, enjoyable son! Happy 30th Joey. We love you!

Monday, July 27, 2015

California Trip

We went out to California again last week. The first two days we worked on the house. Matt took the pool table so there is so much more room in the great room now! We turned the table on an angle. The light still needs to be moved over. We are getting the top of the table refinished and buying new chairs. The table set is made of pine and is scratched up like crazy. It also looks like a dog has chewed on several of the chair legs and the finials, which fall off every time you move the chairs!

I added some new pillows to the couch to brighten it up.

We got new quilts for all the beds to brighten the rooms up. This room also got new lamps.

We went to Vegas for the weekend (next post) and then I came back and worked on the house some more.

I had a handyman replace some water damaged baseboards and I started purchasing some new patio furniture. The old stuff is rusting out. We got the air conditioner fixed, courtesy the home warranty. We also had to buy a new washing machine.

We are still in the process of fixing a lot of things:

The cabinets around the refrigerator
A few other cabinets that have water damage
The broken ice dispenser

We are having a removable pool safety fence installed, some grading done on the side yard, and all the mineral deposits cleaned off the pool tiles.

This house need a little more work than planned but we hope to have everything done by Thanksgiving!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Catching Up

So I covered the weekend in the last post, now I'll cover some of the weekdays of the last few weeks. After that will be a post about our last trip to California.

Besides going to the Garden of the Gods, we took Donna to History Colorado Museum. Yes, it was our third time in a week. We should have bought an annual pass!

Anna loved having us all to herself while Mia was at horse camp.

Anna passed a level in swimming lessons. She had been working very hard to achieve this. She was one determined girl! Every week she asked her coach what she needed to do to pass and then she would work on it at our pool.

My teacher friend Wanda was in Colorado and came over for lunch one day.

Being a first grade teacher, she wanted to hear Anna read.

We went on hike with our homeschool group and the kids found a turtle!

I think I am all caught up on our doings except for our last trip!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Two Weekends Ago

What have we been doing? Lots! And I haven't had time to blog. Here is what we did two weekends ago:

On Thursday night Dan was out of town but I took the girls to the new exhibit "The Power of Poison" at the science museum. It was pretty good. I wasn't sure if they would understand much of it but it turned out to be pretty kid friendly.

I'm not too happy that I deleted the good picture and kept the blurry one above. Got to wear the glasses!

Friday night we took the girls to their first baseball game: Rockies vs. Braves? I think. I know it was the Rockies at least.

They got the obligatory hot dog.

We chose this game because it was the only one with fireworks. But the lightening started at the end of the game and fireworks were postponed. It was already a late night for them so no fireworks.

The next day we went to "Meet Your First Responders" at our community center. Guess who was the most impressed?

Maks loves all forms of transportation, especially if it comes with a siren.

This one decided it was a no smile day.

Until she was in the back of a police car. Hmmm...don't even want to go there. We learned that they have plastic seats and floors with a drain so they can hose the back seat down.

We also got to meet a policeman and a police dog, practice calling 911, and bring home some cool stuff.

Mia had her first soccer game as well that day.

There was no coach when we got there. But it's okay. Someone took over. See the old man out there. It's really not bad. The I9 league has practices right before each game on Saturday. They play the same team every week and at the same time. I think even I could coach that. Well let's not get carried away...

On Sunday we drove up to the top of Pikes Peak. We tried to do it on Fourth of July weekend but it was just too crowded and we turned around. This time we made it! Unfortunately, little Oliver was not old enough and Becky and Maks were turned away. You need to be four months, and they encourage six months, because of the thin air at the top.

It was a fun, yet busy, weekend! We probably should stay home and clean, weed, and relax this weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

17 Mile House

This summer we are doing three coops of our own. Our first one was kind of a catastrophe. Everything we did took way longer than I planned and Mia accidentally knocked over a jar of pasta sauce that drenched several people. I didn't take any pictures because the whole thing was such a whirlwind crazy mess I completely forgot.

So when people started canceling out on our second coop I was secretly glad that maybe it would just go away and I wouldn't have to do it. But one family didn't cancel. And since this coop wasn't at my house, and the docent didn't seem to care how small our group was, I decided we would still do it. And I'm glad we did.

We took a tour of 17 Mile House.

17 mile house was a place for weary travelers to rest that was exactly 17 miles from Denver.

The tour started with a docent telling us all about children's lives years ago and a little bit about the history of the house and the different owners over the past 150 years.

Then she tied little aprons on the girls so they could go "egg Collecting".

We headed outside to learn more.

We learned about a milk house - a building with the sole purpose of storing milk. It was stored below ground to keep it cold pre-refrigeration.

Next, we walked through the barn, set up with all kinds of things one might have used 150 years ago.

We learned that windmills in the area were used to pump water up from the ground.

After learning all about the house and barn, we headed out for a nature walk. We learned that many of the grasses on the property are not native and were brought in during the Dustbowl Era from places all over the world to hold down the soil. Some of them are great for whistling!

The highlight of the coop - finding a toad!

We finished our coop by being allowed to eat lunch wherever we wanted. We chose the kitchen!

There was another group there doing a project for the Historical Society and one of the girls from that group let Mia and Anna play her harp.

The 17 Mile House was a great coop and we learned so much. We hope to go back for the Fall Festival in October!